Within the first few minutes of Mamma Mia! Here We Go Again, there is a heartbreaking revelation that shapes the rest of the movie.
Below, watch the film’s cast speak to RadioTimes.com about their reactions to that major twist…
*** Warning: this article contains major spoilers for Mamma Mia! Here We Go Again ***
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Donna is dead. There, we’ve said it. The circumstances of her passing are never explained, but in the early scenes of the sequel we discover that Meryl Streep’s beloved character died a year before the current story is set, and the new movie centres around the launch of Bella Donna, a hotel opened by her daughter Sophie (Amanda Seyfried) in her honour.
The cast explained that while Streep was missed, her presence was very much felt. “She permeates the piece, she’s there in spirit,” said Pierce Brosnan.
Christine Baranski agreed: “She is, she’s Mamma Mia, you know? She is the central character and it is so much about her and her relationship and her love for her daughter and her daughter’s continuance of the spirit of Donna, so she’s there in the whole film. She’s there.”
Amanda Seyfried said, “A lot of what we did in the movie was in honour of her so it did feel like she was around.”
She added: “Even though we didn’t have Donna with us in the present day we knew Donna was very much alive in this movie.”
To find out more of what the Mamma Mia 2 cast had to say – and how Lily James channelled Meryl for her performance – click play on the video above.
Mamma Mia! Here We Go Again hits UK cinemas on Friday 20th July